Aquino pact violates Constitution, betrays nation

21

(First of Two Parts)

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No wonder the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and its people are wildly euphoric over the pact they struck with President Aquino, called the “Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro” (CAB). News footage even showed their fully uniformed fighters raising their AK-47s and RPG launchers in the manner warriors do after a victorious battle.

Unless the Supreme Court junks the agreement, or Congress refuses to be Mr. Aquino’s stamp pad, it would lead to the creation of a Moro nation-state—precisely the translation from Malay Bahasa of “Bangsamoro”— in 27 percent of Mindanao’s land area, said to be the most resource- and fossil-fuel rich part of the island.

The Bangsamoro will be headed by its “Chief Minister”, almost certainly the MILF chairman. He answers to no one in the Philippine Republic but only to the 50-man “Bangsamoro Assembly,” which elects the Cabinet of Ministers, who in turn chooses the Chief. (See the Pact’s “Annex on Power Sharing”, Part Two, “Governance Structure”).

In the case of the two existing autonomous regions—in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordilleras—which the Constitution authorized, its Section 16 specifies; “The President shall exercise general supervision over autonomous regions to ensure that laws are faithfully executed.”
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Nowhere in the entire pact and its annexes is there such a provision.

In fact, nowhere in those documents is even a mention of the Philippine President—the symbol of the Republic, the head of state and government—except in the CAB, as being one of the four people in whose “presence” the pact was signed.

The Bangsamoro Government is clearly a parliamentary system for the Bangsamoro — which the Constitution does not provide for.

It is not even the Commission on Elections that will make sure that the voting will reflect the Moros’ genuine choice of their representatives, as the pact is completely silent on how elections for the Assembly will be undertaken.

Whoever supervises the elections, what armed force will ensure clean elections for the Bangsamoro Parliament?

The MILF, which will not lay down its arms and instead will be converted as the Bangsamoro’s police force, will be under the control of its Chief Minister.

Paragraph 6, Part VIII of the “Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” reads: “All law enforcement functions shall be transferred from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the police force for the Bangsamoro. Part A, paragraph one of the Annex on Normalization stipulates: “Law Enforcement . . . in the Bangsamoro shall be the primary function of the police force for the Bangsamoro.”

A “Bangsamoro Police” brazenly violates the Philippine Constitution’s Section 6, Article XVI which categorically provides that there can be only “one police force which shall be national in scope, to be administered and controlled by a national police commission.”

Aquino’s pact with the MILF is sharp contrast to government’s 1996 Peace Agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front, which specified that the insurgents would be   integrated,  after strict screening as to their qualifications and a rigorous training program,  either into the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine National Police.   At least 3,000 MNLF fighters in fact joined the AFP and the PNP, some of whom even fought — a few killed — in firefights with Abu Sayaff terrorists.

That the MILF negotiators ran circles around Aquino’s panel is also obvious in the Normalization Annex’s Part A, Paragraph 4: “Pending the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) the Panels will create a consultative process…in the appointment, employment, and deployment of the existing police force.”

But the BTA will exist only after Congress passes the law that would implement the agreements. This means that even without that law, and even now after the CAB was signed, the MILF and government negotiators would exercise authority over the Philippine National Police operating in the proposed Bangsamoro territory.

They should have asked Aquino’s right-hand man, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, if that’s legal. Roxas would have laughed and told them that any form of authority over any unit of the PNP can be exercised only by the PNP Director General, or the Chairman of the National Police Commission (Roxas).

The creation of a Bangsamoro police is another indication that the Bangsamoro is not just an “autonomous region” but a state, which the pact even specifies has an “asymmetric” relation with the national government.

The Constitution’s requirement that there can be only one police force (and one armed forces) as students of political science will appreciate, proceeds from one necessary feature of a State, which is that it is the sole entity in a defined territory that has “the monopoly of the legitimate use of force.”

Exclude the page-long thank-you notes to those who “made” it happen (primarily and ironically the Malaysian government), the “Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro” is a short 1,136-word document (half the length of this column). It commits government to implement the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro of 2012, together with its five “annexes”.

The document totally ignores the Constitution, as if it didn’t exist. This is even in the literal sense, as there is absolutely no mention at all of our constitution in the CAB.

It merely states how the many provisions of the agreements will be undertaken: “Working with other groups and sectors, the two parties shall ensure the establishment of a new Bangsamoro political entity.” There is even no mention of the Philippine Congress, even if it has to pass the basic Bangsamoro law to even start implementing the CAB.

Aquino’s negotiating panel committed to give the MILF its own state called Bangsamoro. This is way beyond the MILF’s wildest dreams, and even way beyond what the government agreed with the Moro National Liberation Front three decades ago. And that was at the height of the Muslim insurgency and when oil-rich Libya and other OPEC states arm-twisted the Marcos government to give in to demands of the MNLF.

And what did the government gain? Really, very little, as the MILF has not given up its arms, and won’t until the Bangsamoro actually becomes a reality on the ground.

That discussion on Wednesday, and also on why a “Bangsamoro” cannot exist in the Filipino nation-state.

* * *

Links to the  Pact’s documents :

Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/comprehensive-agreement-bangsamoro

Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/framework-agreement-bangsamoro

Annex on Normalization:  http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/annex-normalization

Annex on Power Sharing: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/annex-transitional-arrangements-and-modalities

Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth-Sharing: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/annex-revenue-generation-and-wealth-sharing

Annex on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities:  http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/annex-transitional-arrangements-and-modalities

On the Bangsamoro Waters and Zones of Joint Cooperation Addendum: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/resources/addendum-bangsamoro-waters

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com

www.trigger.ph and www.rigobertotiglao.com

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21 Comments

  1. Elsa G. Jambre, Ph. D. on

    To my fellow Zamboangenos. Let’s be the voice of PEACE… by asserting our own right to live in ZAMBOANGA CITY with Dignity, Decency, and Pride… We must work, and start at home, our street, our baranggay… then we can spread to our city, our region and our country….NO ONE IS GIVEN THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE THE FUTURE, THE PATH, THE FREEDOM of anyone. YOU ARE NOT MY GOD- THE CREATOR WHO MADE THIS WORLD BEAUTIFUL FOR YOU AND ME. Be ashamed OF YOUR ACTIONS… YOU FOOLS. THEY KILL THE SPIRIT OF EACH PERSON. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW. STRIVE TO UNDERSTAND AS YOU ARE DEMONSTRATING A WARPED, FOSSILIZED, JURASSIC BEHAVIOR. AQUINO, THE PEACE PANEL, AND ALL THOSE INVOLVED – YOU ARE ALL FOOLS, CLOWNS OF EVIL MINDS…YOU ARE CAUSING MORE DIVISIONS, SOWING MORE STRIFE….WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO CAST OUR LOT?

  2. jose b. taganahan on

    If Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is a good lawyer, scrutinized well this newly signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the proposed organic act on the CAB, i strongly believed that he will be viewed as hero for the majority of the Filipinos specially those residing in Mindanao and may yet redeem his tarnished image due to his alleged involvement in the yet to be proven PDAF scam.

  3. KUNG MAY SARILI NA SILANG GOBIERNO AT BATAS…….DAPAT LANG NA MAALIS ANG REPRESENTATIVE NILA SA CONGRESS….

    ANO YAN….ME SARILI NA SILANG BATAS SA MINDANAO…TAPOS KASALI PA RIN SILA SA PAGAWA NG BATAS PARA SA ATING LAHAT.. ???

    SOBRA NA ANG NG YAYARI SA BANSA NATIN…..NG DAHIL SA HAYOP NA ABNORMAL NA LEADER NATIN…WASAK NA ANG KINABUKASAN NG LAHAT NG KRISTIANO…

  4. warlito rosal on

    nako sa una lang yan masaya kasi bago pa katulad ng ARMM anong nangyari wla man lang ni isang improvement sa cotabato nagpayaman lang si misuari ganyan din yan mag bilang lang tayo ng taon bagsak din yan mga tao dyan puro tamad nature na nila yan….

  5. Hindi talaga ako maka-move on na tatakbong presidente si Mar Roxas sa 2016.Sana joke lang lahat ito

  6. Jun Bartolome on

    Patay na napagsamantalahan na naman yata ang katangahan at kaabnormalan ng pangulong abnoy…!

  7. I strongly suggest, the CAB agreement must be challenged immediately for its constitutionality in the SC, at the very first opportunity. Also, more national debate on TV and all social media should be done for total public information, with the end in view that: 1) it is not unconstitutional 2) it is for the mutual benefit of Bangsamoro and the Filipinos in general.

  8. These AQUINOs are the Scourge of this Banana Republic of the Philippines, aka Islas Los Ladrones.

  9. Peace? We are all seem to be looking @ a road or desert mirage, From a sizable distance we can see it with our own eyes, but when we get there ourselves in the very exact place we’ve spotted the ‘thing’ as seen from afar, ‘Voila’, it is gone.

    So does Sabah, too. Sold to the highest bidder masquerading as peace broker.

  10. Renato Perdon on

    For Andres R Samson, According to Elements of Diplomatic and Consular Practices: a Glossary by Melquiades J. Gamboa, a plenipotentiary is a designation given to a person denoting that he has full powers to conduct normal diplomatic operations, but to negotiate and sign a treaty he needs special full powers. I think the clue to this designation is found in ‘full powers’.

  11. Sulu archipelago should not be included in CAB, it should be given to the sultanate of sulu to lead and govern under the Republic of the Philippines, likewise MNLF should also recognized and not to be left behind give them a land and territory to govern….so we have all PEACE!!!!

  12. Siony Camacho Bana on

    And allowing a Prime Minister of Malaysia to participate and negotiate for this peace process is undeniably a very poor choice because Malaysia in the first place took Sabah (North Borneo ) illegally from the its owner, the Sultanate of Sulu who recently fought Malaysia , resulting to many Filipinos lives lost fighting for what is legally theirs Prof Ferrer should understand that it would require high intellectual Constitutional lawyers who has an exceptional knowledge of how it will be undertaken addressing what is or are of paramount importance to all concern..There are many Filipinos whose high caliber can be consulted as adviser to this peace process and Sen. Miriam Santiago is one of the many.

  13. niemannkhumar on

    This peace process was done more so as not to antagonize our Malaysian neighbor lest they divulge what they REALLY know about the Aquinos, then and now!

  14. apolonio reyes on

    I was watching Erik’s Espina’s Republika and the guest was Sen. Enrile who said he will scrutinize the CAB when it reaches the senate particularly giving the Bangsamoro their own Air and Naval Space which the senator said is very dangerous to GRP as they, the Bangsamoro by themselves, can give to any country GRP’s AIR AND NAVAL SPACE. IS THIS NOT TREASON ON THE PART OF PNOY?
    Sen. Enrile further said even the former first lady Imelda Marcos, who negotiated the Triploli Agreement, did not give any part of the Philippines to the MNLF. Can you explain the above if these are TRUE so that we the Pilipino People will know the TRUTH, Mr. President ?

    • jose b. taganahan on

      If Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile scrutinized well this newly signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the proposed organic act on the CAB, i strongly believed that he will be viewed as hero for the majority of the Filipinos specially those residing in Mindanao and may yet redeem his tarnished image due to his alleged involvement in the yet to be proven PDAF scam.

  15. Walang mangyayari dyan sa CAB na yan pustahan tayo ng isang buliling di lulosot sa supreme court yang CAB na yan.

  16. Phylliss Quinn on

    Why do the Aquino peace panelists say the MILF’s Bangsamoro state is more similar to Northern Ireland than the MNLF’s ARMM? Northern Ireland without any doubt is part of the United Kingdom and subscribes in action and under written laws to all the laws and the centuries-old conventions of the UK under the unwritten British Constitution. Northern Ireland is both Irish and British. The MILF’s Bangsamore state is only MILF-Moro and never Filipino.
    You are right, Ambassador Tiglao. The whole CAB thing betrays the Philippines and the Filipino people.
    I pray it doesn’t mean the beginning of the dissolution of the Philippines as a nation and a republic. But any one who knows his or her political science and has studied the motivations of the foreign countries that so eagerly shepherded the MILF into getting these concessions from the Aquino Administration an see that the signing of the Framework Agreement and the CAB is most likely the end of the Philippines as it is today.

  17. Andres R. Samson on

    I’ve been asking, no less than 3 separate queries to leading media, to definine just what Plenipotentiary Powers were delegated to this Prof Coronel-Ferrer to commit the to the dismemberment of the nation. I am not a lawyer, but this matter of national significance properly belongs to the highest office in the land. Or do we really allowed ourselves not to have one in the last three years or so.

  18. I was hopeful for peace with our Muslim brothers. But not at the cost of sovereignty which it seems Abnoy has given away just so he can adorn the empty cap on his hairless head with an “achievement” feather. Just as he has surrendered the country’s supremacy to oligarchs.